Saturday, December 9, 2017

Geology Rocks!

You know the kid who can't stop singing during class? The one who knows every lyric to every song on YouTube, but can't seem to learn multiplication facts? (until you teach multiplication songs!) I LOVE incorporating music and singing into our daily classroom routine. One of my favorite teaching strategies is having students perform: reading, speaking, singing, and acting all about 4th grade content! 
Last week my class performed Geology Rocks, a musical science production by Bad Wolf Press. (You can read more about other plays by Bad Wolf Press HERE.) The basic premise is that Professor Rock is missing, so Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson try to solve the missing case. The dialogue is HILARIOUS and the tunes are catchy. But best of all, it covers all of our NGSS for earth science!
Volcanoes sing and dab about "magma coming up my spout, lava pouring out. . . molten, molten, molten rock. . . molten rock and gases. . ."
 The Earth sets the record straight, informing the narrators, Jenn & Rosie, that she is more than just the outer crust, singing, "I am deep. . .not just water and some dust. . ."
 The mountains sing about how "they crunch and fold and soon enough the Himalayas grow. . ."

One of the funniest scenes of the play is when the landforms (Valley girl, Canyon, and Seashore) sing a blues song about erosion, "Wind, rain, ice, waves, erosion has carved out this land. . ." Note the erosion backup singers in the background :)
One of our fourth grade Earth's Systems NGSS standard (4-ESS2-1) is to make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation. Landforms and the effects of weathering and erosion is SO cool to see in person; my family tries to visit as many National Parks as we can.  Since I take A LOT of photos, I put them altogether in a powerpoint to show my kids. Many of them have never been to a national park, and their mouths dropped open when I showed them the pictures. This evolved into my Landforms Photo File, which includes all the teaching points to go along with the pictures. (This is my cheat sheet as I teach!) Click on the photo below to learn more.
Giving students a variety of experiences such as science investigations, theater arts, or using the power of photography to aide comprehension is crucial! How do you help your students understand concepts they have not experienced firsthand?
Click on the buttons below to read about more terrific teaching ideas!

7 comments:

  1. OMG! Bad Wolf Press! I used so many of their plays in my classroom! Love them! And,of course, as always, love the way you continued the lesson!

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    1. Yep, Bad Wolf Press has changed my life! Not to exaggerate, but I've used probably 10-15 of their plays over the years & they always connect to our curriculum!

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  2. Geology Rocks looks like it was fabulous!! What a great and engaging activity.

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    1. It was SO much fun; I can't stop singing the songs. . . and every parent told me they now know all about erosion and the rock cycle! LOL

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  3. FUN!! What a great way to teach! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE this. Writing and performing plays is right up my alley. Best yet it's an awesome learning tool. This is a wonderful way to learn about rocks. I'm sure your kids will remember this even after they've left your classroom.

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  5. What a great idea! Your kids looked like they were having so much fun!

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